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The ways companies assure sustainability and drive a competitive edge using supply chain management

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There are several aspects that characterize modern trends of supply chain management. These aspects can be categorized in the modern management theories that define the modern corporate world. Supply chain management involves best practices of handling operations in order to enhance sustainability and a competitive advantage for the organization. Organizations have been challenged to adapt practices that are conservative to avoid over exploitation of resources. Supply chain ensures the continuity of operations of the organization. This is achieved through outsourcing raw materials, developing a product and dispensing the products to the market. This process can be challenging hence it requires an organization to have a strategic plan in order to make profits.

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Over the years, the models of supply chain operations have changed significantly. This has led to the development of modern management operation theories namely; six sigma, reconfigurable manufacturing, lean manufacturing and business process redesign (BPR) (Reimann, 2017). These theories explain the redesigned workflow in modern organizations where all organizations fall under these four theories. Supply chain management is an area that is greatly affected by the market trends hence organization shave to constantly improve their theories in order to remain relevant in the market.

The above theories explain the supply chain models that are adopted by various organizations. Since businesses vary in nature and scope, it is important to choose the correct model that is applicable to the organization’s operations. Business process redesign for example helps organizations to develop a new supply chain structure that will enhance competitiveness (Chopra, 2017). Reconfigurable manufacturing on the other hand is a model that helps organizations to enhance their production by suggesting changes on various components of the supply chain. This model allows organizations to adopt to sudden changes and maintain their capacity of production.

Six Sigma model is characterized by quality as the main focus. This form of management operation is primarily driven by quality (Reimann, 2017). Finally, Lean manufacturing is a management operation that aims at minimizing and management of waste. This model discourages the wasteful use of resources and seeks to make as much value from the raw material as possible.

In relation to the ethical consideration or exploiting resources from a developing country in order to save £1 million annually, the lean manufacturing theory discourages such practices. Developed countries have a tendency of exploiting developing countries and taking advantage of their surplus natural resources. Citizens also get wages that are below the livable amount as corporations seek to improve their profits. Not only is this unethical but also dehumanization. Sadly, the developing countries do not get symbiotic value from the developed countries. As the sales manager of a company that is plotting to exploit resources in a developing country, would use the following decision making strategies to advice my senior manager about such a move.

Decision making

Defining the problem; By exploiting raw materials from a developing countries and underpaying the laborers involved, corporation could easily have lawsuits filed against it and result in paying higher penalties to the exploited individual or to the developing country.

Measuring the problem; the presence of fundamentalists and activists across the world has significantly soared over time. This means that any unjust practice is more noticeable today and open for rebuke which could tarnish the organization’s reputation.

Designing an alternative; in honor of lean manufacturing model, I would convince my seniors that over exploitation of natural resources is wasteful and does not add value to the company. Alternatively, I would recommend enhanced mechanisms of waste management and maximal use of raw materials to get maximum benefits.

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